The first time we traveled with our baby, we couldn’t believe how much “stuff” we needed. We needed baby stuff for taking walks, and baby stuff for a flight, and baby stuff for a road trip and baby stuff for feeding.

With all the suggestions of baby products for travel on the market, where do you even begin? I polled my friends and collected the best of the baby products that fellow parents recommend. You can find those below, along with some of the baby travel essentials that I’ve learned to swear by after the first year of traveling with a child under one year!

Let’s begin with the must-haves for traveling with your little one, organized by category.

Travel Stroller

Wow, there sure are a lot of travel strollers to choose from. Here are some of the ones I and my “mom friends” really have, along with what they think about them

UPPAbaby Minu Travel Stroller

We chose to get the UPPAbaby Minu travel stroller for ease of use with our car seat and larger Vista stroller from UPPAbaby. As I mention in my UPPAbaby Minu Travel Stroller review, the Minu stroller is NOT the lightest and smallest of the options out there, but we like it for flying, as well as road trips with a baby.

However, it is great quality, and it survived being packed in its UPPAbaby travel bag and gate-checked, the first time with flew with it to Halifax, Canada. Folded up, it fit great in the trunk of our compact rental car for our day trips from Halifax. We were able to get the car seat adapters so that we could pop our UPPAbaby Mesa car seat right into the Minu frame.

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UPPAbaby Minu Travel Stroller

We appreciate that it folds down and pops back up with just one motion. We also think it’s a great size for our baby growing into a toddler and using this stroller well into her early years.

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Doona Travel Stroller and Car Seat

Both my friends Melissa AND Cait say to bring along the Doona stroller on any type of trip, and it is highly popular. The Doona can be installed as a car seat for an infant on a plane, so many parents choose it for flying with a baby for the first time.

Basically, the Doona goes from “car seat” to “stroller” in just a few seconds. The ENTIRE stroller frame folds down within the car seat, so you’re ready to go with strollering from being in the car. You’ll also see that parents love the Doona while being on the go in big cities, like taking a baby to NYC.

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Doona Travel Stroller

The Doona is a revolutionary car-seat-to-stroller travel product approved for aircraft travel!

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Zoe Jogger City Tour 2

My friend Sam recommends the compact Zoe stroller for travel, which is called the Baby Jogger City Tour 2. It’s ultra-compact, durable and lightweight, with a one-step fold. It’s easy enough to fold with one arm while you’re carrying a baby in the other!

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Zoe Jogger City Tour 2

This stroller weighs only 14 lbs. and folds up into a neat shape for transportation. The travel bag comes included.

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Baby-wearing during travel

I never thought I’d be a mom who “wore” her baby! I think a baby carrier is an absolute essential for trips. I used a baby carrier in the airport for our first flight with our baby, as well as during hikes on one of our road trips, and walking around cities during our travels.

Here are some personal recommendations, and for more, check out a list I wrote with my friend Rachel about the best baby carriers for traveling.

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Baby Tula Carrier Lite

This brilliant baby travel product is a lightweight nylon carrier that folds up into a fanny pack for travel days.

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Moby Wrap

This is a wrap-style carrier that can be used from infant to toddler. It packs down small like fabric in your bags.

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Baby Tula Carrier Lite

I can’t say enough good things about my Baby Tula Carrier Lite. It’s the most compact and travel-sized baby carrier I’ve seen, yet it’s fully supportive (for children under 30 lbs.). I used it every day on our Canada trip, for getting our daughter into a nap while on the go, to boarding and deplaning our flights. It’s incredibly lightweight and folds up into a fanny pack that you can wear on travel days. I think it’s a brilliant product that I’ve recommended to so many parents.

If you’re taking a road trip and have space to spare, I recommend a more cushioned baby carrier. See my Baby Tula Explore carrier review to learn about another option!

Moby Wrap

The Moby Wrap is my friend Jamie’s favorite baby carrier for travel days. She notes that this one depends on the baby’s age. It might be better for small babies who like to be kept inward-facing close to a parent, and it can be great for naps while on the go. The soft and stretchy fabric folds into your luggage just like clothes.

Travel diaper bags

It took a while for us to find diaper bags for travel that really let us feel in the groove, as parents. For now, these two below are our top picks for road trips and flying.

Nike Convertible Diaper Bag

The Nike Convertible Diaper Bag works great for us because it doesn’t look like a diaper bag. It looks like a gym bag that’s cool for either Mom or Dad to bring around. We like the top tote-style opening and the three ways to wear: backpack, shoulder bag or tote bag (with the handles). It has features like tons of pockets inside for snacks and bottles, a Nike pacifier holder that snaps onto the exterior and a Nike bottle cooler!

I talk more about it at our Nike Diaper Bag review, with more photos.

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Nike Diaper Bag

The Nike Diaper Bag is totally unisex, and disguises itself as a gym bag. Inside it’s spacious and has room for all the diaper bag essentials.

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Kibou Diaper Bag Fanny Pack

I brought the Kibou bag on every trip we took with our baby as soon as I got it. I think it’s such a smart product for parents, and it’s the only diaper bag you’ll be able to fit in a tiny airplane bathroom!

I brought the Kibou all through the airport and used the fold-out changing pad with my diaper essentials stashed inside. It is cool for Mom or Dad to wear, and comes in lots of nice colors in vegan leather.

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Kibou Diaper Bag Fanny Pack

An essential for every day and for being on a trip, the Kibou fanny pack diaper bag is a minimalist changing bag that’s comfortable, modern and super useful.

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Check out more photos at my Kibou Fanny Pack Diaper Bag review.

Travel feeding products for a baby

I’ve written at length about how to feed a baby while traveling because there seem to be quite a few helpful products required. Whether you are breastfeeding, formula feeding or have a baby already eating solids, here are some accessories to consider for traveling!

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Formula Dispenser Combo Dispenser

This travel-sized handy formula-feeding accessory that my sister uses has an 8-ounce capacity and makes bottle-feeding easy while on the go.

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Hakka (Travel-Sized) Hand Pump

My friend Rachel says to bring a Hakka, for breastfeeding mothers. A silicone hand pump like this comes in a travel-sized version that I’ve used, and it’s squishy silicone, fitting in a diaper bag or in luggage with limited space.

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Snack Wheel / Snack Spinner

Recommended by my friend Shira, this “snack wheel” has different compartments that fit 1/4 cups of solid food. It’s convenient and leak-proof, great for road trips and flights.

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For flying

There are SO many accessories you can bring on a plane with your little one to make the time pass and to make the experience acceptable. Check out the recommendations from my friends and family below, and for all other ideas, check out my best tips for flying with a baby!

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Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat

Recommended by my friend Daniela, this car seat is certified for use on an aircraft and holds a child from 5 to 40 lbs.

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Suction cup spinning toys

Pass the time on a flight with a baby with these spinning toys that suction to the airplane window, or the seat tray! These are my cousin Andrea’s idea and she took them on a flight with her baby.

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Lightweight blanket

This idea comes from my sister Lily, who flew with her 5-month-old and said having a blanket is handy for if the flight gets cold, or to use as a darker canopy on a sleeping child during the flight.

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“Unfamiliar toys”

My friend Rachel says for a flight, bring random unfamiliar toys that are new and novel for your little one. This is a great trick! It means being on the flight and introducing a brand new toy that creates excitement like any time your little one sees something new. Remember to bring flight-friendly items like busy books or sensory toys.

Sleeping

If you have read my list of tips for sleeping in a hotel room with a baby, you know that the whole family’s sleep during a trip is a big deal for me. See the baby sleep essentials that are crucial for how to get better sleep during travel.

Travel Crib

We tried out the Guava Lotus Crib and compared it to similar brands’ cribs like the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. It’s lightweight, modern and safe, and folds up compactly into a backpack that I can wear through the airport before checking it as a bag.

You can see all the step-by-step fold-out and pack-up photos in my Guava Lotus travel crib review.

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Guava Lotus Travel Crib

This travel crib packs down into a backpack-style carrying case, and is lightweight, attractive and quick to set up.

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Travel sound machine

My friend Daniela is very good at traveling with her baby, who is now a toddler. She recommends having a travel sound machine, and I recommend it, too! We’ve used a travel sound machine for nap time and night time in Airbnbs and hotels.

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Yogasleep Travel Sound Machine

We like how small this travel sound machine is, and the sound quality is pretty good, too. Always make sure it’s charged!

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Nanit Pro Baby Monitor

Daniela recommends the Nanit monitor as one to bring with you on vacation. This baby monitor was really made for being on the go — you can stow it away in a large purse with its carrying case for travel (so cool). Many parents recommend this baby monitor for families who travel often.

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Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor & Flex Stand

The Nanit baby monitor works via a phone app, so you can eliminate having to travel with a monitor screen.

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Slumberpod Blackout Canopy

My friend Ariella, as well as baby travel sleep expert Daniela, recommends the Slumberpod as a sanity-saving product during travel with a baby. The Slumberpod is like a blackout tent that you can pop up in a hotel room or Airbnb, whether you’re sleeping in the same room as your child, or not. It creates a dark environment and the baby’s own “space,” which can make new places feel more familiar.

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Slumberpod Blackout Tent

The Slumberpod fits over cribs and mini travel cribs to create a blackout sleep canopy for a baby or toddler. It makes sleeping in the same room as a baby possible.

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International baby travel essentials

If you’ve traveled internationally without a baby, you know that there are some things that are just better to bring from home! Here are some must-have products to bring for traveling with a baby outside the country, from our experiences and from parents who’ve done international travel with an infant.

Metal Seatbelt Lock

My friend Cait told me that in Europe, the seatbelts don’t lock when you pull them all the way out! So, she bought a seatbelt clip product that holds the seatbelt in place in order to use an American infant car seat in a European car or taxi. She had no idea that they needed this until they arrived in Italy, and couldn’t get the seatbelt to “lock.” This gadget saved the day for their son’s safety.

Infant thermometer & medicines

When we traveled to Canada, our daughter ran a fever the first day. We wound up having to go to a local pharmacy, only to get a baby thermometer in Celsius degrees! A baby thermometer was the one thing we forgot to bring from home, although I had remembered to pack Infant Tylenol that we were really glad we had.

My recommendation is to bring your tried and tested medications and thermometer from home, so that you know they work and that your child does not have any adverse reactions to them. Having medical essentials from home, especially in your native language and Fahrenheit (if you’re American) is crucial when you’re under stress.

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Metal Seatbelt Lock

This seatbelt lock helps with setting up a baby’s car seat in a taxi or car in other countries.

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Digital Baby Thermometer

Travel with a three-way-use thermometer for unexpected health scenarios while on the road.

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Miscellaneous baby travel accessories

There are a few bonus items of all sorts that could be useful during a trip with a baby. See the ideas from my friends below.

Travel baby bath

My friend Daniela has bathed her child using this inflatable baby bath that many parents consider an essential when away from home. It’s portable and foldable, which makes traveling with it quite simple. It can be used in a hotel or vacation rental shower or bath tub.

Baby item clips

For being on the go, the last thing you want is to lose something. Bringing “items with clips,” according to my friend Jesse, is smart. This includes pacifiers or teething rings on clips, mittens with clips and toys attached to leashes for a stroller bar. Here are a few ideas that we’re currently using:

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Pacifier and Teether Clips

We used these clips from Babygoal for months on end, for pacifiers, teething rings and whatever else needed to be clipped to our child during travel days.

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Baby mitten clips

To avoid having a single lost mitten while traveling in a winter destination, use mitten clips for keeping gloves attached to jackets.

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Stroller and car seat toy straps

I wish I knew about these sooner: leashes for attaching toys, bottles or teethers to a stroller bar or car seat.

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Painter’s tape

Yes, you read that right: three of my friends have recommended bringing painter’s tape for traveling with a baby for various reasons. My friend Bona (who was featured in my list of family-friendly places to travel) says to use painter’s tape for anything you can think of: “Label stuff, cover up any lights from any source, tape up trash bags as ad hoc blackout curtains, and more!”

Painter’s tape can be used on a flight for a baby to play with.

Travel potty seat

Daniela now has a potty-trained toddler, and while this isn’t necessarily a baby item, it’s so brilliant that I can’t leave it out of this list. Check out how this toddler-sized potty seat folds up into a carrying bag. Incredible for travel days.

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Travel potty

This potty seat turns any adult-sized toilet into one that a toddler can use! It folds up so that it can even fit in your diaper bag or luggage.

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A grandparent

My friend Jordan says to bring a grandparent as one of the best things you can bring along for travel (wink). It’s true: having an extra set of hands, or two extra sets, with bringing along two grandparents, grants Mom and Dad some alone time during a trip. I know plenty of friends who’ve traveled with some of their child’s grandparents in order to have more adults available to help take care of a baby far from home.

A nanny

Melissa says: “Bring a nanny.” If you already have a live-in au pair, or a full-time nanny, why not bring them along to have some extra help? Having your nanny with you on a trip may make sense if you have two or more kids, and can ease the idea of splitting up if an adult wants to stay back with a baby and some smaller children want to do an activity.

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